EdTech Innovative Challenge: Methodists Girls High School Wins Contest, N100,000 Prize

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L-R Seyi Adeyemi, Chairman NBCC LET Group, Ray Atelly, President and Chairman of Council, NBCC, Hon. John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, Ghana; Carol Banks, Founder & Director, CB Healthcare for Africa; Moses Imayi, Project Director/CEO Edufirst; Charity Mbah, Head of School Oxbridge Tutorial College; John Nwachukwu, Head, Private and Corporate Business, Remita Payment Service; Bashir Galadanci, Director of UBEC

The Methodists Girls High School, Lagos, on Wednesday won the innovative challenge competition among secondary schools during this year’s African EduTech Conference held in Lagos.

By its feat, the school carted away N100,000 cash prize, while each of the students who represented the school were presented with five Exam Padi tablets.

Methodist Girls High School defeated Queen’s College, Yaba; St Finbarrs College, Akoka; Kings College, Lagos and Federal Government Girls College, Ibusa, which took part in the innovation competition.

The competition was the high point of the conference themed, ‘Leveraging Collaboration and Partnership for EdTech Growth in Africa’.

About 53 schools made up of 40 Secondary schools and 13 universities, participated in the Innovative Showcase.

Ten schools were shortlisted from the different categories and five schools were selected as the finalists to attend the event and showcase their latest innovations.

Welcoming the participants to the conference, President/Chairman of Council of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Ray Atelly, said the event was put together by the Schools and Education Committee of the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) in collaboration with the Education First Nigeria Limited.

Ghana and Kenya were represented physically at the event in Lagos, while several participants joined virtually.

Atelly, in his address referred to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) Global Education Monitoring Report, which stressed that the fast pace of change in technology had been putting strain on education systems to adapt.

He stressed that countries were starting to define the digital skills they want to prioritise in curricula and assessment standards.

He stated: “Globally, 54% of countries have digital skill standards, but often these have been defined by non-state, mostly commercial, actors.

“Many students do not have much chance to practice with digital technology in schools. Even in the world’s richest countries, only about 10% of 15-year-old students use digital devices for more than an hour per week in mathematics and science.

“Teachers often feel unprepared and lack confidence in teaching with technology. Only half of countries have standards for developing teacher ICT skills.

“While 5% of ransom ware attacks target education, few teacher training programmes cover cybersecurity. Various issues impede the potential of digital data in education management.

“Many countries lack capacity: Just over half of countries use student identification numbers. Countries that do invest in data struggle: A recent survey among UK universities found that 43% had trouble linking data systems, which makes the topic, ‘Leveraging Collaboration and Partnership for EdTech Growth in Africa’, a timely discourse.

Mr Atelly stressed that the 2023 African EdTech Conference would highlight the importance of collaborations and partnerships in driving the growth of educational technology (EDTECH) in Africa.

“The conference seeks to explore the current state of EDTECH in Africa, and to emphasise the considerable untapped potential for transforming education through technology by stressing the imperative role of governments and policymakers in creating an enabling environment for EDTECH collaborations and partnerships.

This, he said, underscored the advantages of pooling together the expertise, resources, and networks of various stakeholders, including governments, educational institutions, private organisations, and technology companies, in leveraging financial and technological resources to foster sustainable growth in educational technology.

Mr. Sam Adeyemi, Chairman, Schools and Education Committee, in his ‘Introductory Message’, noted that several micro and macro challenges thwart the success of educational technology adoption in Africa.

These, he maintained, range from personal, to community, cultural, infrastructural, policies, inadequate training for teachers to fully implement the technology in classrooms, lack of infrastructure and power supply; equally, latent challenges such as inadequate evaluations are detrimental to educational technology adoption.

He said: “The main objective of the 2023 African Edu-tech Conference themed, ‘Leveraging Collaborations and Partnerships for EdTech Growth in Africa’, was to provide a platform for the government, regulatory agencies, and education professionals and innovators to interact and share experiences on the revitalisation of our education system, using technology and innovation as key ingredients for educational transformation.”

The conference also featured several goodwill messages from stakeholders as well as panel discussion on the theme of the event.

EduFirst is the initiator of the conference.

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